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Hans-Rudolf Rösing
Born (1905-09-28)28 September 1905
Died 16 December 2004(2004-12-16) (aged 99)
Place of birth Wilhelmshaven
Place of death Kiel
Allegiance Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany (to 1945)
West Germany West Germany
Service/branch  Reichsmarine
 Kriegsmarine
 German Navy
Years of service 1924–1945, 1956–1965
Rank Kapitän zur See (Kriegsmarine)
Konteradmiral (Bundesmarine)
Unit 2nd U-boat Flotilla
3rd U-boat Flotilla
5th U-boat Flotilla
7th U-boat Flotilla
Commands held U-11, 21 Sep 1935 – 1 Oct 1937
U-35, 6 Dec 1936 – Feb 1937
U-10, Oct 1937 – Aug 1938
U-48, 21 May 1940 – 3 Sep 1940
Awards Iron Cross First Class
Knight's Cross
Bundesverdienstkreuz

Hans-Rudolf Rösing (28 September 1905 – 16 December 2004) was a German U-boat commander in World War II and later served in the Bundesmarine. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

Military career[edit | edit source]

Rösing joined the Reichsmarine in April 1924 as a Seekadett, gaining his commission as Leutnant zur See in October 1928, and surviving on the light cruisers Nymphe and Königsberg. Germany was forbidden to operate submarines under the Treaty of Versailles; and in the early 1930s Oberleutnant zur See Rösing was one of a small number of chosen personnel who were detached to foreign navies to gain experience in submarines. After spending two years at the Unterseebootsabwehrschule, Rösing, recently promoted Kapitänleutnant, was given his first submarine command when he commissioned the new U-11. After two years in this small Type IIB coastal submarine, he took command of U-35, a larger Type VIIA ocean-going boat. In 1937 Rösing was given command of another Type IIB, U-10, and assigned to the Torpedoerprobungskommando, responsible for the testing of new torpedo types. After a year in this post he was appointed commander of 5th U-boat Flotilla - Flotille Emsmann - at Kiel.

July 1939 saw Rösing promoted to Korvettenkapitän. Following a short spell of duty on the staff of the Befehlshaber der U-Boote (Dönitz, q.v.), Rösing was posted to command 7th U-boat Flotilla at Kiel. This command lasted until 21 May 1940, at which time he took over the Type VIIB boat U-48 from her highly successful previous commander, Herbert Schultze. In the course of his two war patrols with U-48, Rösing showed himself to be as capable a commander as he was a staff officer, sinking 12 ships totaling over 60,000 tons, and earning himself the U-Boat War Badge, Iron Cross First Class and Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.

Rösing left U-48 in December 1940, and was appointed liaison officer to the Italian submarine force operating out of Bordeaux in occupied France. After some months he was given command of 3rd U-boat Flotilla, but in August 1941 returned to the staff of the Befehlshaber der U-boote. In July 1942, Rösing was appointed as FdU West (Führer der U-boote West), with headquarters in both Paris and Angers; he was responsible for all boats committed to the Battle of the Atlantic, and thus a great majority of the entire U-boat fleet. In February 1943 he was promoted to Fregattenkapitän, and one month later to Kapitän zur See. He remained as FdU West until autumn 1944, when the Allied liberation of France forced the Kriegsmarine to transfer the remaining boats of 2nd and 7th U-boat flotillas to bases in Norway, Denmark, and northern Germany.

After the German surrender in May 1945, Rösing spent about a year in British captivity before being released. Serving as a member of the Naval Historical Team he subsequently joined the post-war Navy, and was given command of German naval units operating in the North Sea (Marine-Abschnittskommando Nordsee), and later Military District I, rising to the rank of Konteradmiral. He retired from active service in 1965, having added to the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Service Cross) to his wartime decorations. He died on 16 December 2004, at the age of 99.

Awards[edit | edit source]

Wehrmachtbericht references[edit | edit source]

Date Original German Wehrmachtbericht wording Direct English translation
Saturday, 22 June 1940 Ein zurückgekehrtes Unterseeboot unter dem Kommando von Korvettenkapitän Rösing meldet die Versenkung von 42 686 BRT.[3] A returned submarine under the command of Lieutenant Commander Rösing reports the sinking of 42 686 GRT.
Monday, 26 August 1940 Ein Unterseeboot unter Führung von Korvettenkapitän Rösing Versenkte 46 170 BRT feindlichen Handelsschiffraums. Das Unterseeboot hat damit auf zwei Fernfahrten 88  856 BRT versenkt.[4] A submarine under the leadership of Lieutenant Commander Rösing sunk 46 170 GRT enemy merchant shipping. The submarine has sunk so far 88 856 GRT on two patrols.

References[edit | edit source]

Citations
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Busch and Röll 2003, p. 56.
  2. Fellgiebel 2000, p. 362.
  3. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 225.
  4. Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, p. 270.
Bibliography
  • Busch, Hans-Joachim; Röll (2003) (in German). Der U-Boot-Krieg 1939–1945 — Die Ritterkreuzträger der U-Boot-Waffe von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [The U-Boat War 1939–1945 — The Knight's Cross Bearers of the U-Boat Force from September 1939 to May 1945]. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn Germany: Verlag E.S. Mittler & Sohn. ISBN 978-3-8132-0515-2. 
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) (in German). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches]. Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6. 
  • Kurowski, Franz (1995). Knight's Cross Holders of the U-Boat Service. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88740-748-2. 
  • Range, Clemens (1974). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Kriegsmarine [The Knight's Cross Bearers of the Navy]. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-87943-355-1. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007) (in German). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives]. Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • (in German) Die Wehrmachtberichte 1939–1945 Band 1, 1. September 1939 bis 31. Dezember 1941 [The Wehrmacht Reports 1939–1945 Volume 1, 1 September 1939 to 31 December 1941]. München, Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. 1985. ISBN 978-3-423-05944-2. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Military offices
Preceded by
none
Commander of 5th U-boat Flotilla
December 1938 – December 1939
Succeeded by
Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Moehle
Preceded by
Korvettenkapitän Ernst Sobe
Commander of 7th U-boat Flotilla
January 1940 – May 1940
Succeeded by
Kapitänleutnant Herbert Sohler
Preceded by
Kapitänleutnant Hans Eckermann
Commander of 3rd U-boat Flotilla
March 1941 – July 1941
Succeeded by
Kapitänleutnant Herbert Schultze


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